Día de los Muertos is a two day celebration for those family members that have  passed away and those still living. The living celebrate live and death with family, those who have crossed over and those that are living. It’s a celebration that isn’t to scare you, but makes you feel at peace with life and death. The Day of the dead is celebrated on November 2nd. The days of October 31 – November 2 are also known as the “Days of the Dead.” November 1st is “el Dia de los inocentes” or the day of the children and All Saints Day.  November second is All Souls Day or the Day of the Dead.The Day of the Dead is not just celebrated on one day of the year.

The first day is dedicated to the children who have passed away. They put out candy and toys, along with their favorite foods on the altars. This day is for the little ones only, meaning everything on the altar of that day is solely for the children. The next day is the Day of the dead. This day is not only for the the adults, as it is for the kids the day before. This day is for everyone and anyone. This celebration is very special because it’s not only for family, but doors are open for the spirits that don’t have a family to go to.

Halloween is a day of fun, fear, fright and treats. This day isn’t really about becoming at peace with life and death, but more about scaring you for the fun of it. Halloween is a day to go out, beg for candy, play tricks on friends and if you enjoy scaring people, putting up your own haunted house. This holiday is, in a way, to make fun of death. It’s not about coming together as a family, but more about going out, almost peeing your pants out of fear, getting candy and having fun.  October 31st is about having fun and trick-or-treating, scaring people and getting scared.

Many people are all for the rush of adrenaline they get with fear. Then there are the others who are more about sitting at home, watching Halloween movies and handing out candy. The third group is the teens who are too cool to trick-or-treat but are too young to hand out candy. They either go out with their friends to haunted houses, play tricks (trick-or-treat) on the neighbors, stay home and watch movies, have parties or do nothing.

 As a more “hard-core halloween” family, we make our own haunted house. Not many families do this, but it is a way to have fun as a family on this day. October 31st is a day that many people look forward to. But with that, others dread this day.

It’s not all about little kids dressing up in costumes of their favorite superheroes and running around town to get the best candy. Many of the ones who think they are too old for trick-or-treating go out to parties or haunted houses, watch movies, have friends over or go out and play tricks on neighbors. This is part of the reason that people don’t look forward to this holiday. Day of the Dead and Halloween are two completely different holidays, but in a way are still similar. Day of the Dead is a family celebration that brings people close. Halloween is more for scaring others as a joke. Although these differences do set the holidays apart, they have similar means of celebration.

People of all ages dress up as different characters, people, objects and even food for Halloween. For the day of the dead, the majority of the people paint their faces like a sugar skull and dress up. Traditions- Traditionally, Day of the Dead is celebrated by a family made altar with pictures of the dead, food offerings, candles, papel picado, toys, flowers (marigolds) and, most importantly, mole. The day of the dead is celebrated at home and later at night with a huge party in the cemetery. Families will either put up an altar at the graves of the dead, at home, or maybe even both. The altar is one of the most important and special parts of the Day of the Dead. This is a way to connect and give things (offerings) to your loved ones who have passed away.

Along with the altars, a more well known and extravagant part of this two day festival is the party. Places like Oaxaca, Michoacán, México  have the most festive and spectacular parties for the Day of the Dead. In Mexico, they have a huge party and a parade.

The most important and well known part of Day of the Dead is the altars and the party. Día de los Muertos altars have offerings of food like fruits, vegetables, a favorite meal, drinks, and most of the time, mole with rice and beans. They also have pictures of those who have passed away, candles (religious/non-religious), brightly colored flowers, papel picado, toys for the children who have passed.Traditions- The Halloween I know is the one that’s celebrated in the US.

We have our own way of doing things. This is a huge mixture of different cultures’ celebrations. There are certain traditions we have that set ours apart from the other cultures.


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